Scrum, Kanban & Scrumban – What’s the difference?

Agile is a big umbrella that covers a number of different approaches, and there is always scope for more. There are so many flavors because agile is a mindset that allows flexibility in its processes. Two of the more popular approaches are Scrum and Kanban.

Scrum and Kanban apply agile principles in their own way to empower effective delivery cycles. “Scrumban” is a term coined for a hybrid approach making use of both Scrum and Kanban principles.

In my article published at Testrail , I have explore the differences among the three methodologies – Scrum , Kanban and Scrumban. Check it out and see which of these methodologies may be right for you. https://blog.gurock.com/scrum-kanban-scrumban/

Here is a brief about the 3 methodologies –

SCRUM

Scrum is the most popular agile framework. It is iterative and incremental in nature and focuses on tight delivery timelines. The release time frame is split into small iterations called sprints. Work items are planned for each sprint in the form of user stories and tasks, which are prioritized based on value. Teams are small, cross-functional and self-organizing, with a product owner, a ScrumMaster and the development team.

Scrum provides channels for communication through ceremonies such as the sprint planning meeting, the daily standup meeting, the sprint demo, and the sprint retrospective, all of which contribute to the overall pace and a flexible approach to software development.

Scrum Task board

KANBAN

Kanban is focused on continuous delivery based on lean principles. It’s based on the flow of work and just-in-time delivery and promotes process improvement. Kanban aims to eliminate waste, increase productivity and efficiency, and have flexibility in production. The main goals are to limit work in progress (WIP), avoid multitasking and recognize bottlenecks.

The Kanban board essentially consists of three phases: Input, Work in Progress and Output. Columns under each designation can be used to signify more important tasks and priorities. The tasks in backlog are added to the board with small descriptions and are assigned to team members using the “pull” principle, based on priorities.

Here is a useful sketch I found to illustrate the difference between Scrum & Kanban–

Differences- Scrum vs Kanban

SCRUMBAN

First introduced a decade ago by Corey Ladas, Scrumban was intended as a transitional state for Scrum teams moving to Kanban but later emerged as a framework of its own. It now leverages elements of Scrum and Kanban and focuses on continuous work with short cycles for planning.

Fundamentally, Scrumban is a management framework that emerges when teams employ Scrum as their chosen way of working but use Kanban as a way to view and understand work and continuously improve their processes.

Tasks are taken up using the “pull” principle from the backlog of items on the board, so people can decide to take up the task they want. WIP limits are used to avoid bottlenecks and delays. Once all current backlog items are done and the backlog column is empty, it is a trigger for the next planning, so planning happens on-demand as needed.

Scrumban board

Please click here to read the full article — > on the Gurock TestRail blog site.

Please like, comment and follow the blog for more interesting articles!

Thanks

Nishi

4 ways Task boards can help Agile teams

A task board is a physical or virtual chart containing all current team tasks at hand and their progress over time. For an agile team, all sprint tasks can be represented on the task board, and their flow over various stages can be tracked in the daily standup meeting. Task boards are a great way to visually representing pieces of work and their status.

Besides helping to organize and track work and being the focal point of the iteration and relevant meetings, task boards can have numerous more benefits for an agile team. In my article published @Gurock, I have discussed four additional ways in which Task boards can help an agile team-> https://blog.gurock.com/agile-task-boards/

Different styles of Task boards

Main points discussed–>

  • Customize the process
  • Visualize their Scrum
  • Improve Commitment and visibility
  • Facilitate Team interactions

Click here to read more ->

‘Co-opetetion’ Among Agile Team Members

Agile focuses on motivated individuals acting together toward a common goal. Consequently, agile needs people to collaborate and requires complete transparency, communication, and cooperation, within and across teams. But at the same time, individuals instinctively try to outperform others in order to stand out in their teams.

This transition from individual responsibility to collective ownership is often the hardest part of the cultural shift that teams face when adopting agile. I have looked at ways to encourage healthy competition, more cooperation, and a sense of community among agile teammates in my latest article for Gurock – TestRail blog, the main points being-

  • Showing People the part they played
  • Have Co-workers appreciate each other
  • Measuring personal growth
  • Motivating with extra initiatives
  • Encouraging Collaboration and healthy competetion

Check out the complete article at – https://blog.gurock.com/agile-co-opetiton/ to find ways to encourage healthy competition and better team dynamics in your agile teams!

Four Questions to ask yourself when planning Test Automation

Test automation poses its own challenges different from manual testing. Teams struggle to get the most out of their test automation due to many hurdles along the way.

Good planning can act as a solid foundation for your test automation project and help you fully reap the benefits. Consequently, there are many things to consider and discuss prior to jumping into test automation to ensure you are following the right path.

In my article published at Gurock TestRail Blog, I have discussed four main questions to ask yourself before starting with test automation-

  1. What is your team’s goal for test automation?
  2. What about implementation?
  3. What is your execution strategy?
  4. Who will focus on maintenance?

Read the full article here to find more on each of these questions and how these help to finalize on a test automation strategy which will help lead your team to success!

Please give this article a read and share your thoughts!

Cheers

Nishi

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Adopting a New Tool

We are all forever on the lookout for better and faster ways to achieve our quality goals, and adding new tools to our suite often seems like a good way to do that. However, introducing a new tool to an already working environment may be tricky and could require some special considerations.

In my latest article for @Gurock website, I take a look at five common mistakes teams make when adopting a new tool, so we can be sure to avoid them. My write-up has been published at TestRail blog here -> https://blog.gurock.com/5-mistakes-tool-adoption/

The main mistakes in tool adoption and their prevention steps that I have discussed in this article are:

  • Jumping in without a POC
  • Not testing the tool in a Pilot Project
  • Performing the wrong Profit analysis
  • Rolling Out adoption all at once
  • Neglecting Continuous Learning

Read the full article and let me know your thoughts!

Using Mind Maps for Agile Test Planning

Mind maps are a creative way of gathering ideas around a central theme and categorizing them in concrete branches. Mind maps can be useful for both personal and professional life as an organization and visualization technique. They’re descriptive, easy and even fun.

In my latest post for Gurock blog, I showcase the usage of mind maps as a technique for test planning and test design. This tool’s capabilities make your documentation leaner and ideas more visual, which benefits the whole agile team.
https://blog.gurock.com/agile-mind-map/

Be it test planning in an agile team which needs entire team’s insights and collaboration, or categorization of product features, test areas and backlog, Mindmaps can be used for all aspects and phases of the project.

Testers can generate their test ideas and have them categorized in a mind map around the central theme of the feature. The visual nature of a mind map helps them find more scenarios, see which parts are more heavily tested, and focus on main areas or branches. Once done, they can have other stakeholders take a look at it and get their opinions. This fosters brainstorming together and gathers the maximum number of ideas from the entire team.

Find useful tips to create your own mindmaps, as well as some samples for your reference in agile test designing as well as test planning. Read the complete article here ->
https://blog.gurock.com/agile-mind-map/

Share your thoughts!

Making the case for Usability Testing in Agile

My first experience with usability testing was on an agile team where the product we were building was being designed with the help of an in-house usability expert. He helped design the user interface (UI) of the application and conduct usability study on the beta version of the software to determine the ease of use of the application.

Though the experience was limited in terms of the interaction we had with the user representatives and the sessions conducted, the feedback we received opened up lots of new avenues for the tester in me around the learnability, understandability and attractiveness of the application I was testing.

Usability has matured a lot over the years. It’s now an essential software characteristic in today’s web and mobile applications. In my article published at the TestRail blog, I discuss ways of performing Usability tests and developing a mindset for Usability in an agile context.

https://blog.gurock.com/usability-testing-agile-projects/

We also discuss about Usability Study , how to set it up and achieve maximum benefits from it.

To read the complete article — (opens in a new tab)”>Click here –>


Prevention is the Best Cure- for Defects in Agile

The agile methodology focuses on building in quality from the very beginning of the software lifecycle. That is why we aim to find and fix defects early on: A defect found and fixed in an earlier lifecycle phase is a multitude cheaper than the same defect at a later stage.

But how can we more easily make it possible to prevent defects from percolating deeper in the software development lifecycle by fixing them in their nascent stages?

This is the main theme of my latest article for @Gurock TestRail blog – where I explore and explain ways to foresee, analyze and thwart defects in an agile context.

The main points discussed are-

Communication

Conduct Reviews

Demonstrate Often

Static Analysis and CI

Click Here to read the complete article –>

Please support by liking / commenting and sharing the article!

Cheers

Nishi

Look Back to Plan Forward – Learnings from 2018

Every year we see the software industry evolving at a rapid pace. This implies changes in the way testing is conducted within the software lifecycle, test processes, techniques and tools, and the tester’s skill set, too.

I’ve been into agile for more than a decade, and I’m still learning, changing and growing each year along with our industry. Here are five of my key lessons and observations from 2018. I hope they help you in the coming year!

https://blog.gurock.com/lessons-for-agile-testers/

In my article published on Gurock blog, I talk about the 5 key learnings for Agile testers from the past year and how they will be key in planning your road ahead in 2019. The key learning areas discussed are —

Testing Earlier in DevOps

Getting Outside the Box

Increasing Focus on Usability Testing

Enhancing Mobile and Performance Testing

Integrating Tools and Analyzing Metrics

Click Here to read the complete article — >

‘Just Enough’ documentation in an Agile Project

Agile poses many challenges to the development team, most of them pertaining to time. Teams are perpetually under pressure to deliver working software at a fast pace, leaving minimum time for anything else. When testing on an agile project, learning how to write lean documentation can save precious time. Furthermore writing lean documentation can help rework efforts by focusing only on what’s really necessary.

The Agile Manifesto emphasizes working software over comprehensive documentation, but most agile teams interpret this wrong and treat documentation as something to be avoided, owing to time constraints. The manifesto states a lesser focus on comprehensive documentation, but some documentation is still needed for the project and any related guidelines being followed. Attaining this balance is a challenge.

Documentation is a necessary evil. We may think of it as cumbersome and time-consuming, but the project cannot survive without it. For this reason, we need to find ways to do just enough documentation — no more, no less.

Read about how to focus on important areas like VALUE  , COMMUNICATION and  SUFFICIENCY when documenting in your agile project – in my article published at Gurock TestRail blog –> https://blog.gurock.com/lean-documentation-agile-project/

just enough

Click here to read the full article

For example, in a traditional test design document, we create columns for test case description, test steps, test data, expected results and actual results, along with preconditions and post-conditions for each test case. There may be a very detailed description of test steps, and varying test data may also be repeatedly documented. While this is needed in many contexts, agile testers may not have the time or the need to specify their tests in this much detail.

As an agile tester, I have worked on teams following a much leaner approach to sprint-level tests. We document the tests as high-level scenarios, with a one line description of the test and a column for details like any specific test data or the expected outcome. When executing these tests, the tester may add relevant information for future regression cycles, as well as document test results and any defects.

More examples and scenarios for learning leaner test document creation are included in the full article– Click here to read the full article

 

                 Are you interested in finding the right tool for your Agile processes? Here is a comprehensive assessment and comparison of the best agile tools available! 

https://thedigitalprojectmanager.com/agile-tools/

Prepared by Ben Aston, this list may be a useful guide for finding and selecting the best tool to support your agile journey. Check it out!

 

Happy Testing!

Nishi